Mental Health Month is celebrated each year in the month of October in NSW. This awareness month encourages all of us to think about our mental health and wellbeing.
As police officers we are at the front line of interacting with people who have been diagnosed with a mental illness or identifying people who do not realise they have symptoms of Mental Illness.
This month we encourage people whose lives are stressful due to work or family pressure, who feel overwhelmed or those who feel like they are removed from society, the opportunity to understand the importance of mental health in our everyday lives and encourage people to seek help when needed.
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Everybody reacts to pressure or incidents differently for no apparent reason.
The latest mental health research shows that your brain is constantly rebuilding and rewiring itself, but this process is affected by how healthy the rest of your body is. You should eat healthily, exercise regularly and sleep adequately. These habits maintain your brain’s ‘happy chemicals’ and assist in a process called neurogenesis in which your brain replenishes brain cells.
And yes, alcohol does damage your brain cells’ structure, (despite feeling stimulating, alcohol is classified as a depressant), but reducing your alcohol intake allows it to eventually recover.
People who have a network of friends and family do better under pressure. Life is busy and you need to find time to maintain your relationships.
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This can be difficult but picking up the phone to have a quick chat or arrange a catch up is well worth it in the long term.
Mental health symptoms can become a downward spiral of negativity and other debilitating symptoms, so the quicker you address them the better.
The most important ingredient in taking charge of your mental health is you.
Acting Inspector Michael Madgwick
Officer in Charge Young